Volume 9 - Issue 10
October 2011
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Posted on : Oct 15, 2011

one special DASARA recalled

by Prof. G. Venkataraman

Part 3




The Statistics That Indicate the Undeniable Positive Impact of the Project

I told you that Swami insisted on safe drinking water and that was because of the fluoride problem. As I mentioned earlier, one of the important features of Swami’s drinking water project is that it gave fluoride free water or water with very low fluoride content. This has had remarkable impact on the health of people, especially children and I am going to give you some statistics that proves this statement. These numbers are drawn from data collected in many villages around and from Puttaparthi and they extend from the time when there was no water project to the year 2009.

A map showing Puttaparthi and the surrounding areas

The data collected was grouped into 4 time periods; before 1995, from 1995 to 2000 (the first five years of the water project), 2000 to 2005 and 2005 to 2009. I’m now going to give you some numbers that relate to the village of Kesapuram which is not very far from here and the population is about 1,400. These numbers are registered cases for various water related ailments.

A graph showing the statistical data that indicates the fall in fluoride related health problems in Kesapuram.

As you can see from the graph above, registered dental fluorosis cases have come down from 115 to 89, to 12, to 2 in the time period of study. That’s a very sharp drop. Let me take skeletal fluorosis; it's very dreaded stuff and its numbers as you would have observed, has dropped from 94 in the first period to just 1 in the last period. And Rheumatic Arthritis - 121 prior to the water project to 0 in the fourth period.

See how much impact this fluoride free water has made, very few people know about it, very few people talk about it but you go to the villages and you see a tremendous difference. The children have white teeth now, no longer black teeth or anything like that. And none of the young people have any deformed bones whereas among the old people, that is those who drank this fluoride water for several years, you can still see in what terrible shape their legs are.

I now will give you some similar statistics for Mylasamudram which is another village near Kesapuram.

A graph showing the statistical data that indicates the fall in fluoride related health problems in Mylasamudram.

So you can see that tremendous impact has been made. It's not just that people get drinking water, the quality of water has also made a big difference. Now this is the last set of statistics. This relates to a very small village called Kanisetti Palli with a population of just 380.

These statistics do not include data about gastroenteritis, cholera and so on, that’ll just add to the numbers. The point is, this project was done keeping the health of the people also in mind not just their thirst.

These are somethings that very few people know, including in Puttaparthi. Even Puttaparthi used to have a big fluoride problem; people have forgotten that. We have taken Swami’s water so much for granted that we don’t know what remarkable difference it has made to us.

Sri Sathya Sai Water Supply Project - An Inspiration to be Fostered; a gift to be Cherished

It’s time for me to wrap up this talk and I would like to make a few concluding remarks. Firstly I would like to again stress that Swami’s water project brought safe drinking water to many villages that are quite far from the water sources. Next time you come to Puttaparthi please go to the Hanuman temple near Pata mandiram (old mandir) where Swami used to stay before He moved into this Mandir here in Prashanti Nilayam. Over there is a huge tank that brings Sai water to Puttaparthi from about 100 kilometres away. Sai water is supplied in the ashram also and therefore it is important that none of us waste water inside the ashram. That applies to residents like me and also to people who come occasionally. As Swami often said: ‘Don’t waste money, money is God’. I would say: ‘Don’t waste water, especially Sai water because it’s very costly’ and because it was given by God, it is doubly costly and invaluable.

Seen here is the large water tank which supplies potable water to entire village of Puttaparthi. This water comes from a source which is about 70 kilometers away.

The cost as I told you before was 70 million dollars but there is one point I did not mention and I would like to make a brief reference to it before I close and that is the following. People think Swami had plenty of money; that’s not true. Swami always had cash flow problems but He kept quiet about it. In fact at one stage during this Anantapur drinking water project construction, He had to mortgage a part of the property in Brindavan to raise cash as a loan from a bank. Can you imagine that, you may ask why does God do that? There is a reason for it but about that sometime later. The fact of the matter is, Swami did have cash flow problems but that did not stop Him from continuing to execute the project. 'Hollywood or bust I will do it'. Once Swami made a resolution or a determination (sankalpa) it was a very firm determination or vajrasankalpa as He used to say. After that there was no stopping Him; He would rest only when the project was completed and the people got the benefit and were happy.

Finally let me add a small footnote before I sign off.

You might have seen this talk or heard it on the Radio, please tell others about it because it would always be available as a download. It was one of the big mega water projects that Swami did and you must know something about it; not only you but everyone must know something about it. So please tell as many people as possible, be it in whatever way - maybe emails, Twitter, Facebook, phone calls or whatever. Make sure that as many people as you know become aware of this.

It is said that if we do not know we do not care and if you do not care we do not act. You know there is a lot of suffering in the world today and we have to act, how can we act unless we know and care. And when we know about what Swami did it will give us some inspiration and motivation. There is no better way of showing our love to Swami than by seeing Swami in all forms - by loving, showing compassion and serving all. That is what Swami did all His life, He did it in many ways and one of the ways was by executing the Anantapur Drinking Water Project. And today as we have just crossed Dasara I wanted to go back in time and remind you of the Dasara of 1997 when this project was completed, tested and gifted by Swami to the people of this state.

Thank you and Jai Sai Ram.



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